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Introducing The Engineering Technology Programs To All Incoming Freshmen Engineering And Technology Students – The Result Is Better For All

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Recruiting and Retention

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.835.1 - 11.835.6



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Paper Authors


Gary Crossman Old Dominion University

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Gary R. Crossman is Professor and Chair of Engineering Technology at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Professor Crossman received his B.S. degree from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in 1964 and his M.E. degree in 1970 from Old Dominion University, where he has served on the faculty for over 34 years. Professor Crossman is a Fellow of ASEE and the recipient of the James H. McGraw Award for leadership in engineering technology education. He is also a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia

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Anthony Dean Old Dominion University

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Anthony W. Dean is Assistant Professor of. He received a Ph.D. in Engineering Management and a B.S. in Engineering Technology from ODU and an MBA from the College of William and Mary. Previously, Dr. Dean was Director of Operations and Business Development for Clark-Smith Associates, P.C., and served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS South Carolina and the USS Enterprise

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Introducing Engineering Technology Programs to all Incoming Freshman Engineering and Technology Students – The result is better for all


The Department of Engineering Technology at Old Dominion University participates in a freshman engineering course sequence, along with four engineering departments in the Batten College of Engineering and Technology. The two course sequence, Exploring Engineering and Technology I and II, involve the five departments in teaching at least one five week module in each of the two courses. Each department generally involves the students in a basic design project related to its discipline. Since the Department of Engineering Technology has three main programs – Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical – it has elected to divide its five week segment into three parts to introduce the students to each of the three programs in the department.

The short time available to each program has presented some unique challenges in giving the students a meaningful experience in each program. This paper presents these challenges and how the programs within the department addressed them. The freshman course sequence has provided an excellent opportunity for the Department of Engineering Technology to provide the undecided (and, at times, the previously decided) engineering students with a viable alternative to the engineering programs. It exposes all freshmen engineers to the attributes of engineering technology education and employment opportunities.


Retention of engineering students has become a major undertaking for most institutions with engineering programs. Much of this retention effort is taking place at the freshmen level, where dropout rates have been the highest. Institutions are developing innovative ways to maintain interest of freshmen students in their disciplines and the desire to continue.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Old Dominion University is a comprehensive Ph.D. granting institution located in Norfolk, Virginia. The Batten College of Engineering and Technology houses four engineering departments, an engineering management department and the engineering technology department. The departments are somewhat autonomous with very few shared courses. However, common to all undergraduate curricula are two credit freshman engineering courses, Exploring Engineering and Technology I and II. These courses were instituted by the dean in the late 1990’s to help stem the fairly high attrition rate of the engineering programs. At the time, each of the engineering technology programs (civil, electrical, and mechanical) had their own freshman course of two credits and didn’t really want to change. This change would add an additional two credits to the curriculum which, under university guidelines, would mean that two credits would have to be dropped elsewhere in the curriculum. Additionally, while the undergraduate engineering programs were four-year programs, with ninety percent of their students starting as new freshman, the four year engineering technology programs received a

Crossman, G., & Dean, A. (2006, June), Introducing The Engineering Technology Programs To All Incoming Freshmen Engineering And Technology Students – The Result Is Better For All Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1369

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